Academic journal article Theological Studies

Close to Our Hearts: Personal Reflections on Marriage

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Close to Our Hearts: Personal Reflections on Marriage

Article excerpt

Close to Our Hearts: Personal Reflections on Marriage. Edited by Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn and Klaus Demmer. Munster: LIT, 2013. Pp. iii + 218. 24.90 [euro].

From founding members of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality (INTAMS) in Belgium comes this timely new collection of brief essays on marriage. The authors (mostly European theologians) present for the next generation a spirituality of marriage grounded in experience. Among the essays are real gems--particularly those by Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi, Enda McDonagh, Use Cornu, and Elizabeth Davies. Notable themes include the enduring otherness of a spouse, the ongoing yearning for unity, the adventure of entering into a lifelong covenant, the reality of suffering, the need to accept imperfection, and the profound gift of being in relationship with one person for a lifetime.

In the introduction, editor Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn writes of a younger generation "searching desperately for testimonies, practical guidance, and points of orientation" (2) and promises a book that "illustrate[s] the value and difficulties of a lifelong relationship in its various facets" (3). More than most theological works on marriage, this book delivers. It takes seriously theoretical discussions of marriage as it relates to the Trinity, domestic church, and total self-giving, while attempting to show what Christian marriage looks like from the inside. …

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